89 of Northern Ireland’s most talented young musicians (age range 14-23) have been selected by competitive audition to attend this unique course, held at Greenmount College, Antrim, from 10th to 19th August, 2017. They will receive intensive tuition from some of the UK’s leading professional musicians as they prepare for public concerts in the Guildhall, Derry-Londonderry on Friday 18 August and the Ulster Hall, Belfast on Saturday 19 August 2017.
This year we are thrilled to welcome two conductors both new to us here at UYO – Michael Seal and Frank Zielhorst. Our rehearsal conductor, Frank Zielhorst, will begin the course alongside our professional tutors in an intensive programme of sectional and tutti rehearsals while the students learn how their parts fit together. The tutors will sort out wrong notes, give advice on technical problems, instruct on articulations and bowings and inform on style, with many insights from their vast professional experience. After five days Michael Seal, our Guest Conductor, will take over to bring the Orchestra up to performance standard with his own interpretation and expert guidance.
This year’s repertoire has been chosen to give the talented young musicians access to a challenging and inspirational programme of high quality symphonic music. We begin with a treat for the brass as they open the concert with Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man followed by a relatively new piece, Bright Blue Music, composed in 1985 by the American composer Michael Torke. Excerpts from Prokofiev’s Suite from the ballet Cinderella is at times, quirky, melodious and often fiendishly difficult! We conclude with the well-known Symphonie Fantastique, a tale of unrequited love, despair and ultimately death. A powerful classic to stir the emotions!